Apple is to update the features on its subscription-based .mac webmail service to make it look and feel more like Mac OS X Mail client on the desktop. With the tag line “Totally new. Totally familiar” Apple are playing up its Web 2.0 features (though they don’t call it that) such as smart refreshes (only the bit of the webpage that’s changed gets reloaded), drag and drop of mail, quick reply from the inbox, flagging of messages, and keyboard shortcuts.
Given that the majority of .mac subscribers are going to be Mac users, it’s probably a decent move to make it look like the desktop version of Mail. I’m not sure if it ties in to the desktop version of Mac via IMAP – that would be useful.
At the end of the day, though, do you want to pay for web-based email? The .mac experience is pretty good, and this should make it even better, but if you’re a Mac user then you’d probably only want this when you’re travelling away from your Mac? Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never favoured web mail over a desktop app, particularly when it costs an annual fee (I’m stingy 🙂 ) What do you think?